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Cioppino State of Play

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Will be in the Bay Area this weekend and plan on grabbing some Cioppino while there. My default version is usually Scoma's; however, a friend of mine was recently there and thought that it was not up to their normal standards, i.e., the fish was extremely fresh but the broth was a bit off. Perhaps is was just an off night? Given that we have so few meals this weekend, I don't want to waste one, particularly because I hold Scoma's version in such high regard. If not Scoma's, I will head to Sotto Mare. Is there a current concensus as to where the best version is currently found? The Board seems to identify Scoma's, Sotto Mare and Tadich as the three players. Thanks in advance.

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  1. It's not at Soto Mare where all the seafood is cooked together and ends up overcooked with a thin tasteless broth. I tried it under advice fron this forum to great dissapointment.

    2 Replies
    1. re: stanbee

      In my experience, Tadich also tends to overcook things.

      Rose Pistola made the best I've had, but I haven't been there in a long time.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        I gave Rose Pistola a try last weekend based on recommendations from CH. People said the broth is better than the watery broth at Tadich and I actually disagree.

        First off, you have to have a minimum of 2 people to order the Cioppino. They serve it in a large pot at the table, splitting it into your bowls and then leaving the remainder of the broth in the large pot for the table.

        The seafood was fine. It was good, but didn't have as much variety as Tadich. However, at $24 compared to Tadich's ~$36, I was fine with it. The broth was a huge disappointment! Very watery, not terribly flavorful, but they did leave the pot behind with a lot of bread which was fun for the rest of the table to try.

        So Tadich: better seafood, thicker broth in the dozen or so times I've been in the past year, but they certainly do have off nights. The negative is the long wait, loud atmosphere, no reservations and tough for a large group.

        Rose Pistola's: cheaper, family style, and maybe I had it on an off night. But they have a live jazz band on weekends, great drinks, take reservations and have a super friendly staff. I'd definitely give it a try again.

        Still haven't tried Sotto Mare :)

    2. My favorite has always been Rose Pistola...

      1. We have similar taste. My two favorites in the city have been Scoma's and Tadich.

        Never tried Sotto Mare.

        I say go to Tadich! It's such a great place. And if by some chance the cioppino doesn't do it you can drown your sorrows in excellent martinis. :-)

        1 Reply
        1. re: pauliface

          If you're interested in cioppino, I suppose you have to try Tadich's at least once.

          Their web site says "if it's not fresh, it's not on the Tadich Grill menu," so I guess they stopped using frozen shrimp?

        2. Just following up. As it turns out we when back to Scoma's for Cioppino (it was closest to our location around dinner time). They now only serve the lazy man's version of the dish. I thought that the fish was extremely fresh and perfectly cooked. The scallops in particular were first rate. The broth was a bit sweeter than I remember but still had a nice tomato flavor. While I recall the broth having a deeper tomato flavor I would neither hesitate to return for the Cioppino nor think twice about recommend the dish to a friend. Next time we are in town, I plan on giving Rose Pistola a try.

          1. Rich Table's online menu lists:

            DUNGENESS CRAB CIOPPINO, ARTICHOKE, CARA
            CARA ORANGE

            Anyone try it?

            (Menu changes frequently and it may be gone.)